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Gen. Dickinson recalls ‘somber’, ‘serious’ mood inside Pentagon as U.S. reacts to 9-11 attacks – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-09-10 20:45:14 –

Peterson Space Force Base — Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. This day changed the course of American history. For those targeted by the attacks in New York City and Washington, DC, especially those at the epicenter of power in the country, they have a unique perspective on what happened that day.

A good example is General James Dickinson, the current commander of the United States Space Force at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs. Twenty years ago, General Dickinson was a lieutenant colonel who worked as part of the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon, assisting the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and responding directly to President George W. Bush on how to assess what happened that day and how to respond.

Like many of us, General Dickinson was at home just after the shift at the Pentagon, and when the attack happened, he said to me, “Turn on the TV and watch what happened. In New York City, where I saw an airplane hit a tower, I wondered what I was doing sitting here at home, so I put on my uniform and jumped into the car. “

It was easy to say to return to his post at the Pentagon, which was also hit. Not surprisingly, the turmoil inside and outside the complex usually took 30 minutes, a few hours, he says. He was able to get security clearance and return to the command center, but as he walked to his post, he said, “When I entered the building, the aircraft collided with what I had ever seen. Was quite different and clashed with the Pentagon, which was very similar to what we saw in New York City, in other words, people were running towards the incident rather than running away from it. rice field.”

It was a horrific attack, but eventually 184 people, including General Dickinson’s friends, died in the Pentagon. He later learned that he had work to do and that he and many others had work to do. Domestic and international communications were functioning properly, allowing national-level leadership teams to function in times of crisis.

He was powered by most of the Pentagon and had extensive smoke, fire, and structural damage, which was from where he worked to the entire complex, so a redundant system was activated. He said that he was able to operate under relatively normal conditions. “And I entered the Pentagon, entered the National Military Command Center, and I could hear the president’s voice, he was on the phone, and they were some that it was unfolding I was talking about the situation when I was making the decision. “

An important decision, as you can imagine, is in the mood to remember that the general is gloomy but serious. Overall, air traffic is afraid of another attack from a hijacked airliner, blocking military installations and other safe targets across the country, trying to figure out who did this and why. Needless to say, it was grounded all over the country. But the first reaction between General Dickinson and his colleagues at the time was understandable. “”

General Dickinson said the team’s swift and focused response across the Pentagon complex, as well as dealing with the horrifying scenes, was all manual, with troops and volunteers in the building, and first responders. Praised the response. From Northern Virginia, who worked tirelessly to save lives. He told me that even Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld pitched in doing what he could to help those who assisted in the emergency response.

One of the big points for General Dickinson is the harsh reality of what happened. How could these terrorists invade the country, command major airliners and use them as weapons of mass destruction? The road to this country, “It’s the recognition that we are vulnerable and can be vulnerable, we made it 9-11 and some actions, some of the organizations we developed. I think I removed it from, as I said, the U.S. Northern Command has risen, and there are others as well as the features we have built, allowing us to address those vulnerabilities. bottom.”


On the grounds of Peterson Space Force Base, there is a monument in front of the United States Northern Command, reminiscent of the sacrifices of that day and beyond. The monument contains part of an I-beam from the World Trade Center in New York, with plaques attached to a Pentagon-shaped concrete foundation, “from the ashes of the September 11 terrorist attack. Is written. In 2001, the “Northern Command” was issued to improve our defense capabilities and protect our freedom, and the last line says “Never forget us.”

And General Dickinson says the most important thing to remember when we reflect this weekend. Thanks to our men and women in uniforms and sacrifices, there have been no other attacks like 9-11 on US soil in 20 years. Given this important date in US history and the changing circumstances of Afghanistan, where the United States withdrew from the country’s longest war, some of it is the power of all volunteers who may be struggling now. General Dickinson wants to remind all of our active and veterans. They are not alone, their service is important.
“We lost a lot of people in both the attacks of the day and the fighting for over 20 years. They and they sacrificed to make this country a safer place, in fact a safer place in the world. I think you should always remember that. “”

General Dickinson will be one of the keynote speakers at the 9-11 memorial service at Peterson Space Force Base on Saturday. Joining him is the retired Air Force General Ed Ever, the first commander of the Northern Command after its establishment in 2002 and the current commander of Northcom, General Glenn Vanhelk. It’s a heart.

Related: Twenty years later, a local retired general looks back on 9/11

Gen. Dickinson recalls ‘somber’, ‘serious’ mood inside Pentagon as U.S. reacts to 9-11 attacks Source link Gen. Dickinson recalls ‘somber’, ‘serious’ mood inside Pentagon as U.S. reacts to 9-11 attacks

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